A guide to your new lev­el­ling am­pli­fier plugin

Computer Music - - Contents - www.ik­mul­ti­me­dia.com

One of the most revered valve-based out­board pro­ces­sors of all time, the Teletronix LA-2A Lev­el­ing Am­pli­fier has long been highly re­garded by virtue of its trans­par­ent re­sponse, mu­si­cal sound and fool­proof op­er­a­tional sim­plic­ity. IK Mul­ti­me­dia’s White 2A is a su­perb vir­tual em­u­la­tion of the LA-2A that works as a mod­ule in the com­pany’s T-RackS 5 host ‘shell’ mas­ter­ing sys­tem, and ad­di­tion­ally as an in­di­vid­ual plugin in your VST/AU/AAX­com­pat­i­ble DAW. Even bet­ter than that, though, is that it’s now yours for free, only with this is­sue of Com­put­er­Mu­sic.

An op­ti­cal com­pres­sor, the LA-2A is known for its smooth, com­par­a­tively lan­guid re­sponse. The in­put sig­nal level con­trols the bright­ness of an elec­tro-lu­mi­nes­cent panel, which then shines on a pho­to­sen­si­tive re­sis­tor. As the in­put gets louder and the panel gets brighter, the im­ped­ance of the re­sis­tor in­creases with it, low­er­ing the gain – ie, ap­ply­ing com­pres­sion.

With no ad­justable tim­ing con­trols, a big part of the LA-2A’s sound is its fre­quency-de­pen­dent at­tack (av­er­ag­ing around 10ms) and multi-stage re­lease, which takes about 60ms to reach 50% re­lease, and a fur­ther 1-15 sec­onds to com­plete, de­pend­ing on the amount of com­pres­sion be­ing ap­plied. White 2A em­u­lates all this with amaz­ing ac­cu­racy, and adds mid-side op­er­a­tion to the orig­i­nal for­mula.

In this tu­to­rial, we’ll show you how to put the LA-2A to use, us­ing White 2A as our stand-in, from the specifics of its con­trols to some of the tech­niques for which it’s known.

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